Chapters 1–3

Amir receives a call from his friend Rahim Khan who asks him to come to Pakistan. Afterward, Amir is reminded of his friend, Hassan, a boy with a cleft lip whom he calls a kite runner. Amir, a Sunni Muslim, lived with his father, Baba, in a lavish home, while Hassan’s father, Ali, a Shia Muslim, worked as Baba’s servant in Kabul. Amir says he could never live up to Baba’s intimidating and impressive reputation.

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Chapters 4 & 5

Amir never thought of Hassan as a friend, though Amir would enjoy reading stories to Hassan. After writing his first story about a man whose tears turn to pearls, Amir attempts to share the story with Baba, who ignores him, but Rahim Khan takes the story and writes a note to Amir admiring his storytelling talent. After sharing the story with Hassan, Amir becomes upset with him and thinks disparaging thoughts about Hassan being a Hazara. One night, gunfire erupts in the street as part of a coup, leading to strained relations between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras. The following winter, Baba provides Hassan with cleft lip surgery for his birthday.

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Chapters 6 & 7

Hassan is deemed the best kite runner in Kabul. The 1975 annual kite-fighting tournament is held in Amir’s neighborhood, and after Amir wins, Hassan vows to bring the kite back for Amir. When Hassan does not return, Amir goes searching for him. Amir finds Hassan in an alleyway cornered by Assef and the neighborhood bullies. After Hassan refuses to give them Amir’s kite, they attack Hassan and Assef rapes him while Amir merely watches. When Hassan comes up to Amir, crying and bleeding, neither boy speaks about what happened.

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Chapters 8 & 9

Amir becomes antagonistic toward Hassan, to the point that he pelts Hassan with pomegranates and even asks Baba if he would ever consider getting new servants, which Baba refuses angrily. At Amir’s thirteenth birthday party more than 400 guests arrive, including Assef who gifts Amir a biography of Hitler. Rahim Khan tells Amir that he once almost married a Hazara girl, but he had to call it off because it would enrage his family. He tells Amir that he is always there to talk to him and gives him a notebook in which to write stories. Amir decides to sabotage Hassan and Ali by leaving his birthday money and a watch under Hassan’s mattress, which he tells Baba that Hassan had stolen. Baba pleads with them to stay, but Ali refuses, so they leave.

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Chapters 10 & 11

In 1981, Amir and Baba escape Kabul after the rafiqs have divided society. They travel to Jalalabad where they are supposed to switch trucks, but when Karim, the driver, reveals that the truck has broken down, Baba becomes enraged. For the next week Baba and Amir stay in a basement with other refugees, including Kamal and his father, who eventually shoots himself. The narrative jumps forward in time to California where Baba works at a gas station and has difficulty adjusting to life in the U.S. Amir, meanwhile, graduates high school and declares that he wants to be a writer. Baba introduces Amir to General Taheri and his daughter, Soraya, whom he falls asleep thinking about.

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Chapters 12 & 13

Amir attempts to court Soraya but becomes disheartened after General Taheri discovers their relationship and Baba becomes ill with a cancer that reaches his brain. Baba agrees to talk to General Taheri to ask Soraya’s hand in marriage for Amir. Shortly after Amir and Soraya’s wedding, which Baba financed using his savings, Baba passes away. Later, Amir publishes his first novel, and he and Soraya buy a house in San Francisco, where their inability to conceive a child lingers between them.

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Chapters 14 & 15

Amir receives a call from an ill Rahim Khan asking him to visit Pakistan. When Amir arrives, he visits Rahim Khan and tells him of his marriage to Soraya, as well as his career as a novelist. Amir also learns about how Afghanistan has changed since the Taliban took over. Amir learns that Rahim Khan had been living in Baba’s house since Amir and Baba fled, and before asking Amir for a favor before he dies, Rahim Khan reveals that he was living with Hassan.

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Chapters 16 & 17

The narrative shifts back to 1986 when Rahim Khan found Hassan and his wife Farzana, and after learning about how Ali was killed by a land mine, Rahim Khan asks them to move back with him to Baba’s house. After giving birth to a stillborn girl, Farzana becomes pregnant again in the same year Sanaubar, Hassan’s mother, appears and becomes close with Hassan, even helping deliver their son, Sohrab. Sanaubar dies, and after the Taliban take over Kabul, they ban kite fighting. Rahim Khan gives Amir a letter from Hassan that details how much love he has for his son, as well as telling Amir that if he ever returns to Kabul, Hassan will be there to greet him. Rahim Khan tells Amir that Hassan was killed by the Taliban, and that Amir must travel to Kabul to retrieve Sohrab. Rahim Khan reveals that Ali was not Hassan’s father, and implies that Hassan was, in fact, Baba’s child, making Hassan and Amir half-brothers.

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Chapters 18 & 19

Amir thinks about how responsible he was for Hassan’s death, reflecting on the evidence that Baba was Hassan’s father. Amir tells Rahim Khan he will find Sohrab. Rahim Khan’s friend, Farid, takes Amir to the now-changed Afghanistan. While staying the night at the home of Farid’s brother Wahid, Farid makes a disparaging remark about Amir’s reasoning for returning to Afghanistan, but Wahid calls Amir a true Afghan. Amir watches Wahid’s children staring at his watch and gives it to them, only to find out later that what they were really staring at was his food, leading Amir to leave money under one of their mattresses.

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Chapters 20 & 21

Amir and Farid reach Kabul, now unrecognizable to Amir, and visit the orphanage where Sohrab is supposed to be, only to discover that Sohrab was taken by a Taliban official. To find him, they must go to Ghazi Stadium the following day. During the soccer game at the stadium, the Taliban bury a blindfolded man and woman in a hole on the field and the official throws stones at their heads until they are left in a bloody pulp. Farid tells one of the Taliban that he has business with the official, and the official agrees to see them that afternoon.

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Chapters 22 & 23

Amir and Farid meet with the Taliban official who drags out Sohrab in a silk outfit, with bells strapped around his ankles and mascara lining his eyes, makes him dance, and rubs his stomach. Amir realizes that the official is Assef, who refuses Amir’s offer to give him money for Sohrab and begins beating Amir. Sohrab hits Assef with a slingshot, allowing Sohrab and Amir to run out of the house to where Farid is waiting in his car. Amir wakes up in a hospital in Peshawar, thanking Farid and Sohrab, and is given a note from Rahim Khan that explains how Rahim Khan knew everything that happened with Hassan. He leaves Amir a key to a safe-deposit box with money to cover Amir’s expenses.

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Chapters 24 & 25

After Amir discovers at the American embassy that it might be impossible to adopt Sohrab and he might have to return, Sohrab cries until he falls asleep in Amir’s arms. Because of the abuse Assef and the Taliban inflicted on Sohrab, as well as the abandonment he experienced when Hassan and Farzana died, Sohrab is so terrified of being sent back to the orphanage he tries to kill himself. Amir prays for the first time in years, believing that the sins he committed against Hassan in the past are haunting him now. Amir and Sohrab arrive in San Francisco and have dinner with the General who is told by Amir never to call Sohrab a “Hazara boy” in his presence again. Amir and Sohrab fly kites, with Amir showing Sohrab what used to be Hassan’s favorite trick. The people around them cheer, bringing a smile to Sohrab’s face. Amir runs the kite for Sohrab in the same way Hassan did for him.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 24 & 25